Fallacy Finders Dream
'Design' column shows we're getting dumber
Douglas Groothuis' Speakout column of Dec. 10 on intelligent design, " 'Design' critics often employ straw men," is further evidence of the dumbing down of America. Remember the last time religion intruded itself into science, when the church condemned Galileo for teaching that the Earth revolved around the sun? How did that turn out?
Five hundred years ago the Muslim countries were the scientific leaders of the world. Why did this change so drastically? Because the Western world began the scientific revolution when it rejected supernatural explanations and sought natural causes that would be amenable to testing and verification, the essence of science. This tradition has served us so well, why would we want to abandon it now?
If people like Groothuis insist that schools teach nonscientific alternatives in science classes, then why stop at intelligent design? Why not teach the flat Earth theory in geography class? How about astrology as an alternative to astronomy, and shouldn't alchemy be taught in chemistry classes? Maybe Groot- huis and others would prefer seeing a doctor trained in voodoo as an alternative to traditional medicine?
When we allow the possibility of supernatural agents, anything goes and nothing can be logically disputed or verified by others, so scientific progress stops.
If we start mixing science and religion in the public schools, then we had better make sure that our children and grandchildren start learning Chinese. Because America will have unilaterally disarmed itself in the future battle for scientific and technological supremacy.
James J. Amato Woodland Park